Jury in Santina Cawley murder trial resume deliberations

They have been told that all eleven of them must agree on the single count before them.
Jury in Santina Cawley murder trial resume deliberations

Two year old Santina Cawley who died at Elderwood Apartments. Pic from Provision.

The jury in the Cork city murder trial which is now going into its fourth week have resumed their deliberations.

The eleven jurors – one was excused early in the case – are back in their jury room at the Central Criminal Court sitting at Anglesea Street courthouse in Cork.

They have been told that all eleven of them must agree on the single count before them.

The jury must decide if 38-year-old Karen Harrington of Lakelands Crescent, Mahon, Cork, is guilty or not guilty of the murder of Santina Cawley at Elderwood Park, Boreenamanna Road, on July 5 2019.

Accused Karen Harrington arrives at court on Anglesea Street Cork on Friday 13th May 2022. Pic: Larry Cummins
Accused Karen Harrington arrives at court on Anglesea Street Cork on Friday 13th May 2022. Pic: Larry Cummins

The jury requested two pieces of evidence to be sent into the jury room for their consideration today – a recording made by a resident at the apartment complex of a door being banged repeatedly and a woman shouting in the early hours of July 5 2019, and a powerpoint presentation made by Rhona Campell of the Garda Síochána Analysis Service showing the different movements, as captured by CCTV, of Michael Cawley and Karen Harrington at various locations around Elderwood and elsewhere in Cork city concentrating on the period from 11pm on July 4 to 6am on July 5 2019.

Legal principles

The eleven jurors listened to Mr Justice Michael MacGrath on Friday as he addressed them on legal principles which they must use and on some of the main evidence which they heard from witnesses. They deliberated on Friday for one hour and 14 minutes before the judge directed them to suspend their deliberations for the weekend and resume today.

The judge told them they must try the case coldly and dispassionately.

Mr Justice Michael MacGrath told the four women and seven men of the jury that they must exclude any sympathy they have for the accused and her family or for the deceased and her family.

Mr Justice MacGrath said, “Your verdict must be unanimous, whether it is a verdict of guilty or not guilty.

“It is very important that you take your time. There is no rush. Take as much time as you require. It is extremely important you consider all of what you have heard in this courtroom. It is also important that everyone’s voice is heard in the jury room – make your voice known, make your concerns known.” 

Many of the parties to the case – family members of the deceased and the accused, friends of the parties, lawyers for the prosecution and defence, members of An Garda Síochána who have been investigating the case for almost three years and members of the media – remain in and around the courthouse today in anticipation of the jury’s verdict.

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